The Chinese economist Mao Yushi [presents] an interesting paradox. If we were all completely benevolent – looking out for the interests of other people rather than ourselves – we would have just as much conflict as capitalism is said to give us. We would be fighting shopkeepers to charge us more and reduce their quality. The arguments would be just as red in tooth and claw, but the incentives would all be to reduce value rather than to create and increase it, as capitalism does.
Perhaps. But managing conflicting priorities is not the only reason that we need a capitalist system; nor does the existence of a conflict in a community motivated by other-interest suffice to justify capitalism. A deeper understanding of the role of markets is required.